Egyptian efforts in Libya aimed to restore the pillars of state and fill the power vacuum, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has said.
Al-Sisi’s comments came during a meeting in Cairo with Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias on Thursday.
Al-Sisi received Dendias in the presence of Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry, Head of the General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel, and Greece’s Ambassador in Cairo Nikolaos Garilidis.
During the meeting, Al-Sisi discussed developments on the Libyan issue in light of the Cairo Declaration initiative. Dendias expressed his country’s support for all the initiative’s provisions, indicating that it represents a message of peace and stability for Libya and for the wider region.
Al-Sisi stressed that the Egyptian efforts in Libya aims mainly to restore the role of state institutions and fill the power vacuum. He noted that the absence of these have created the space for armed militias and increased their activities, which threatens to turn Libya into a hotbed of tension in the region extending to Europe.
Egypt and Greece have agreed on the necessity of intensifying joint coordination, while stressing the need for a complete end to the Libyan crisis. This will happy by reaching a political solution that paves the way for returned security and stability in the country. It will also end external interventions that seek direct gains to satisfy their own ambitions.
At the start of the meeting, Al-Sisi welcomed Dendias’ visit to Cairo, noting that it reflects the distinguished level of strategic bilateral relations between Egypt and Greece.
He further conveyed his greetings to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and reaffirmed the characteristics of Egyptian-Greek relations.
Al-Sisi expressed Egypt’s keenness to enhance joint cooperation between the two countries at various levels to achieve common interests. This would be particularly at the political, military, commercial and energy levels, as well as upgrading the existing cooperation as part of tripartite framework with Cyprus.
In return, Dendias conveyed Mitsotakis’s greetings to Al-Sisi, whilst expressing his country’s pride in the close cooperation ties it has with Egypt. Dendias noted that these represent a model for constructive cooperation between the Mediterranean countries, especially in light of Egypt’s distinguished position in the region.
He also praised Egypt’s role in combating illegal immigration, terrorism and extremist ideology.
Dendias affirmed Greece’s mutual interest in strengthening joint cooperation between the two countries, as well as developing tripartite cooperation between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus. He noted that this is a successful tool for achieving the economic and social development of the three countries.
The meeting witnessed the exchange of visions and views on regional files of common interest. The officials emphasised that the East Mediterranean Gas Forum represents one of the most important tools in this framework. They noted that the forum would open prospects for gas and energy cooperation and investment among East Mediterranean countries.